Plant and Soil

, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 1–7 | Cite as

Restriction fragment length polymorphisms distinguish ectomycorrhizal fungi

  • John L. Armstrong
  • Nanci L. Fowles
  • Paul T. Rygiewicz


Basidiomycetous fungi, two saprophytes and three mycorrhizal, were used to assess the specificity of DNA hybridization for distinguishing genera from one another. Interspecific comparisons were done with several isolates of mycorrhizal fungi,Laccaria bicolor andL. laccata, collected from diverse geographical sites. The DNAs were digested with four restriction nucleases and separated by gel electrophoresis into patterns of DNA fragments called restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs). The RFLPs were hybridized with a radioactively-labeled DNA probe encoding Basidiomycetous ribosomal RNA genes. The five genera were discernable using both unprobed and probed RFLPs. Hybridization of probe DNA with RFLPs was isolate-specific for all nine Laccaria isolates examined. The reclassification of aL. bicolor isolate is supported, demonstrating that hybridization of RFLPs offers an additional tool for taxonomy of ectomycorrhizal fungi. The method may have field application for distinguishing known isolates if their DNA fingerprints are previously ascertained and are distinct from RFLPs of indigenous organisms.

Key words

ectomycorrhizal fungi endonuclease isolate identification RFLP restriction fragment length polymorphism rDNA 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John L. Armstrong
    • 1
  • Nanci L. Fowles
    • 2
  • Paul T. Rygiewicz
    • 1
  1. 1.Corvallis Environmental Research LaboratoryUS Environmental Protection AgencyCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.NSICorvallisUSA

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